We know that millennials take their food very seriously. And they eat differently than previous generations typically do.
According to a poll by Sweet Earth Foods, 57% of 2,000 millennials surveyed have a special diet such as Keto, Whole30, plant-based, or vegan.
Why do so many follow special types of diets? Forty-four percent of those who do say it’s better for the environment, while 37% said it’s the ethical thing to do. Their driving concerns include eating healthier (46%), avoiding sugar/carbs (41%), and focusing more on plant-based foods (36%). And a third (34%) have cut down on their consumption of meat.
Millennials typically go to 41 dinner parties a year and eat out 90 times. (Note: this poll came out in 2019 before the pandemic!).
With all that information about the foods and meals millennials are eating, it’s no surprise that they are interested in the keto diet. A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that may help you lose weight and control other types of illnesses and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The main idea behind a keto plan is to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat. Reducing carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. That’s when you don’t have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (glucose) into energy, so your body burns fat for energy instead. A keto diet helps your liver turn fat into chemicals called ketones. (If you have diabetes, a keto diet is not necessarily healthy for you. Check with your doctor.)
One of the benefits of a ketogenic diet is it can help you lose weight. Most people who do a keto plan find they don’t have to count calories or track their food intake. A number of studies show that it is more effective for weight loss than a low-fat diet.
However, one of the problems of a ketogenic diet is how acidic it is. And if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, it’s challenging to do a keto diet because of the heavy emphasis on meat proteins.
Acidosis can be a problem with keto
When the balance of acids and bases in your blood gets thrown off, it can lead to having chronic low-grade acidosis. If you have this condition, it means your body is either making too much acid, not getting rid of enough acid, or isn’t alkaline enough to offset a normal amount of acid.
Eating too many acidic foods results in your body’s overall pH load becoming acidic. Over time, minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and bicarbonate become low, which is unhealthy and can cause a variety of problems for your body, especially bone loss.
Foods that are acidic include:
- Unsprouted beans
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Carbonated drinks like sodas (which have a pH of 2.5)
- Coffee and other caffeinated drinks
- Refined table salt
Alkalizing your body
Instead of eating lots of base or acidic foods, it’s healthier to focus on foods that help you alkalize your body pH.
If you can remember your high school chemistry, you’ll recall that the “power of hydrogen” is referred to as pH. Researchers measure the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution by referring to its pH.
The scale to measure pH ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything higher than 7 is considered alkaline or base. Anything lower than 7 is acidic.
The ocean pH is about 8.1, so it’s alkaline. The optimal pH for a pool is 7.4, about the same pH as human eyes and your mucous membranes. Unless you’re quite ill or dying, human blood is stable at 7.4, so it is also alkaline.
Different systems and organs of your body require different pH levels in order to function optimally. Your skin has a pH below 5. Because your stomach needs to break down food and kill any pathogens that you may ingest, its pH is less than 3. Your saliva has a pH of 6.5-7.5
You can measure cellular health by measuring your urine pH with special test strips. It is an indication of what sorts of foods and minerals you’ve been ingesting, as well as what sort of lifestyle you lead (reducing stress through meditation, prayer, rest, sufficient sleep, etc. also helps alkalize your urine pH). When you measure your urine pH, you can make minor – or major – adjustments that can have profound impacts on your health!
When you put this all together, you can see how a heavy emphasis on acidic foods like meat – which is a big part of the keto diet – can turn your urine pH acidic. This is a strong clue to how your body is really doing and how healthy you are… and will be in the future!
Some of the best alkalizing foods include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- Seaweed and sea salt
- Root vegetables
- Seasonal fruits
- Onion, garlic, ginger
Benefits of alkalizing your body
You can control how healthy you are by making good choices in your foods and in your lifestyle (by reducing stress). Some benefits of an alkaline-rich diet include:
- Bone health. An acidic diet decreases bone density, potentially leading to fractures and osteoporosis. Alkaline foods boost bone mineral density.
- Lean muscle mass. Alkaline fruits and vegetables increase lean muscle mass, which also supports bone health.
- Optimizes magnesium. Acidic diets are often especially deficient in magnesium, which can result in anxiety, sleep issues, headaches, and more. Because nutrients in our soil are depleted, and most Americans aren’t eating enough alkaline foods, this means that up to 80% of Americans are low in magnesium.
- Reduces pain and inflammation. Almost every disease on the planet results from chronic inflammation, which also sabotages weight loss efforts. A more alkaline body experiences less joint pain, menstrual discomfort, chronic pain, and inflammation.
- Reduces the risk of chronic disease. Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases by eating an alkaline diet.
Balanced eating – Keto-Green!
I am a triple board-certified gynecologist. When I was 39 years old, I had a traumatic event in my life. Perhaps you’ve had one too. In my case, it caused me to go into early menopause! I had all the problems associated with menopause: joint pain, mood swings, big weight gain. Here I was, a physician, and my health was pretty bad!
I took some time off from my practice to travel around the world and find out how other cultures help people get healthy. One of the things I learned is that a food plan that combines the benefits of BOTH the keto diet and an alkalizing diet is healthier and more effective for weight loss. I call it The Keto-Green diet.
I recommend a diet that is 80% alkalizing and 20% acidic for weight loss and long-term health.
Some of the benefits of the Keto-Green diet over the ketogenic diet include:
- It favors alkaline and plant foods such as green leafy vegetables and other low-calorie veggies. It favors free-range, wild-caught, and clean protein sources.
- It favors more alkaline fats like avocado, nuts, and olive oil.
- It is based on a plate ratio of 80% alkalizing foods and 20% acidic with protein-and-health-fat-rich meats.
- It encourages ketosis through intermittent fasting with no snacks.
- It focuses on principles that help you manage the hormones insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin.
- It allows more low-sugar fruits for greater alkalinity.
- It prevents keto side-effects such as dehydration, nausea, keto-flu, and other issues that come from eating too many acid-forming foods.
- It has a natural detoxifying effect on the body thanks to the inclusion of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, and cabbage, all of which help eliminate the build-up of acidity in your cells.
What to do next?
Ready to get started eating and living Keto-Green? Here is a list for you to get started today:
- Stock up on Keto-Green foods (veggies of all sorts); keto foods (eggs, poultry, meat, fatty fish); and healthy fats (coconut oil, MCT oil, Olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocados)
- Use a Keto-green protein shake for breakfast, along with some coconut oil, a green powdered supplement, and 8 ounces of water or chocolate Keto-green shake.
- Use alkalinity hacks like apple cider vinegar, baking soda, lemons, limes, and Mighty Maca Plus to boost your alkalinity
And if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, my book, Keto-Green 16 has all the details!
I love that you’re so invested in taking care of yourself! Eat right, move your body, and stay healthy!
- This Diet is Better Than Keto for Health and Weight Loss - November 8, 2020